Eight Harvard Poets/Venice
IN a sunset glowing of crimson and gold,
She lies, the glory of the world,
A beached king's galley, whose sails are furled,
Who is hung with tapestries rich and old.
Beautiful as a woman is she,
A woman whose autumn of life is here,
Proud and calm at the end of the year
With the grace that now is majesty.
The sleeping waters bathe her sides.
The warm, blue streams of the Adrian Sea;
She dreams and drowses languorously,
Swayed in the swaying of the tides.
She is a goddess left for us,
Veiled with the softening veils of time;
Her blue-veined breasts are now sublime,
Her moulded torso glorious.
The pity that we must come and go — !
While the old gold and the marble stays,
Forever gleaming its soft strong blaze,
Calm in the early evening glow.
And still the sensitive silhouettes
Of the gondolas pass and leave no track,
Light on the tides as lilies, and black
In the rippling waters of long sunsets.